Tuesday, June 22, 2010

But, you're too nice to be an Ob/Gyn!

It's the beginning of 4th year, the time in the life of a medical student when a career path must be chosen. The application process for selecting a residency program begins on July 1. Personal statements must be written, residency applications must be filled out, and audition rotations must be scheduled. I consider myself lucky I have been passionate about Ob/Gyn since before applying to medical school, so I have escaped the career decision angst that some of my colleagues are experiencing. But that's not to say that that people haven't tried to persuade  me to consider other specialties, especially this past year during my clinical rotations. At the beginning of each rotation, I was inevitably asked, "And what are you planning on doing with your life?" When I replied "Ob/Gyn," the reactions were universally (with the exception of some Ob/Gyn docs) both visceral and negative. Some typical responses:

"Do you want to be miserable your whole life?"
"Why, oh why, would you want to do that?"
"You are going to regret that decision."
"Don't you want to be a real surgeon?"
"Don't do that! Do anything but that!"
"You are going to hate your life."

and my personal favorite,
"But, you're too nice to be an Ob/Gyn!"

According to almost every resident and attending with whom I have worked this year, all of the Ob/Gyn physicians of the world are mean, horrible, miserable people and, apparently, not real surgeons. I know that I'm still in medical school, so maybe I'm naïve; but I refuse to believe that this is true. I've met plenty of amazing, thoughtful, NICE, Ob/Gyns who are satisfied with their careers and are competent in the OR. It has been incredibly frustrating to constantly be on the defensive about my chosen career path while the student standing next to me who is going into radiology gets a "good choice" response and a pat on the back. So to you, Dr.-Urology-attending-who-
felt-the-need-to-sit-me-down-for-an-hour-to-describe-the-horrors-of-Ob/Gyn, I'm going into Ob/Gyn, I'm going to be happy and I'm going to stay a NICE person. So there. And, yes, I'll watch out for the ureters.

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